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Posted by admin on July 18, 2013
This weekend (July 20 & 21, 2013) marks an exceptionally exciting time in Venice as the Festa del Redentore lights up the sky.
Perhaps it’s too late to make it to Italy for this year’s event. But if you’re planning a 2014 trip to Italy with Avventure Bellissime, consider coming during the summer season so that you can enjoy this and other festivals (like Rome’s La Festa de Noantri which also takes place in July).
And if you’re here already, join us!
The annual event, which dates back to the 1500s and takes place in St. Mark’s Basin (where the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal come together on Venice’s coastal perimeter), features an awe-inspiring fireworks display and fun festivities.
Thousands of Venetians and visitors will descend on the bay to celebrate. It promises to be — as it is every year — a great time.
The festival originated as “a feast – held on the day of the Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer – to give thanks for the end of the terrible plague of 1576, which killed 50,000 people” (wikipedia.com).
In 1592, a “majestic church on the Island of Giudecca” was erected to celebrate the end of the plague. Commissioned by Andrea Palladio, famous Italian architect, it was christened “Il Redentore” (in English, Church of the Most Holy Redeemer).Pilgrims still travel to Redentore in Giudecca during the festival, and a religious service and procession led by the city’s Patriarch also mark the the Redentore Festival (veneziamarketingeventi.it).
Venetians are famous for festivals that combine solemn religious acknowledgements with enthusiastic fun and fanfare.
As such, along with the pilgrimage, service, and procession, a number of exciting events are held on Saturday and Sunday too.
On the festival’s eve (Saturday), a fireworks display will be held in St. Mark’s Bay. Locals will have spent the earlier parts of the day decorating their boats and terraces with brightly colored balloons and lanterns in preparation for the evening’s celebrations.
Most Venetians will take in the fireworks display from aboard their boats moored in the channel — dining on picnics and wine.
Thanksgiving mass is held on Sunday morning at Il Redentore,. In the afternoon, at the Giudecca Channel, visitors can take in the Redentore Regattas — with gondola races sure to please viewers of all ages.
(This focus on the regatta is also a nod to the “Voga alla Veneta” — the traditional practice of gondola rowing, the season for which begins this month too).
What better way to take in the Festa del Redentore than to combine it with a tour of some of Italy’s other famous sights?